Valladolid, 19-21 September 2019

SELIM 31st International Conference: Welcome!

The Department of English Philology of the University of Valladolid is delighted to host the 31st International Conference of SELIM, the Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature, to be held in Valladolid on 19-21 September 2019.

CFP open until Tuesday 30 April 2019.

Plenary Speakers

Prof Susan Irvine

University College London

Prof Richard Sharpe

University of Oxford

Prof María José López-Couso

U of Santiago de Compostela

Prof Eva von Contzen

University of Freiburg

Aim & Themes

This three-day international conference will bring together a selection of scholars and researchers who will engage in conversation around the disciplines fostered by SELIM, namely,

    • Old and Middle English language and literature,
    • the medieval history of the British Isles,
    • the transmission of their cultural legacy, and
    • the theories and methods to address them.

We also welcome students and individuals who care for historical linguistics, literary criticism, and history in general, and are familiar with the English language. Signup is also open for them.

Conference Sessions, Venues & Activities


Conference sessions will take place at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Valladolid, from Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 September, 2019.

Four plenary addresses will discuss eloquence in Old English dialogues, English books in British medieval libraries, the syntactic aspects of Middle English, and enumeration and ekphrasis in medieval literature.

Varied aspects of the linguistic and literary features pertaining to Old and Middle English texts, and their historical environment and transmission, will be explored in thematic panels of individual papers.

Both plenaries and panels will schedule time for audience discussion.

On the Saturday morning, the congress will be transferred to the Casas del Tratado in Tordesillas, the site where the Treaty of 1494 was negotiated and ratified. The Conference's closing will be thus held in the venue of the event which alledgedly marked the end of the Western European Middle Ages.



The Society will also sponsor a pre-conference workshop of Introduction to Visigothic script which will take place at the Palace of Santa Cruz, between 16-18 September 2019.



The Conference is offered in conjunction with the manuscript and rare book exhibition Yngalaterra, Escoçia, Yrlanda in the Historical Library of Santa Cruz, which will open in September 2019.



Valladolid is the capital city of Castile and Leon, in the north-west of Spain, just a stone’s throw from Salamanca, Leon, and Segovia, as well as milestones on the Way of St James like Frómista.

Indeed, the great landmarks of the city’s intellectual heritage are medieval, like its University, first documented in 1292, or the College of Santa Cruz and the College of St Gregory, created in its shadow in 1479 and 1487 respectively. The connections of Valladolid with the British Isles and the English-speaking world are also centuries-long and ongoing, from the establishment of the English College of St Alban’s in 1589 to the opening of the House of India in 2003.

Today Valladolid offers the facilities one would expect of the capital of the largest region in Europe. It is well provided with accommodation options and transport links, these including a high-speed rail service from Madrid and a daily flight from Barcelona. The number of visitors coming to enjoy a break from their usual fare grows each year. The Museo Nacional de Escultura, the Miguel Delibes auditorium, and the SEMINCI international film festival are the principal cultural attractions, as well as the museums of Cervantes’s and Zorrilla’s houses.

All this, combined with a vibrant street-life, Valladolid’s famed roast suckling lamb and creative tapas, and the fabulous wines from any of the five D.O. wine regions in the province, will hopefully make the visit to the city worthwhile.

The University and her English Department

Tracing its origins to the late 13th century, the University of Valladolid is the second oldest in Spain and one of the ten oldest universities in the world that have been in continuous operation. After seven hundred years of history, it is an international research and teaching institution with over 30,000 students enrolled in a broad range of academic and professional disciplines.

Up until the 1980s, its district encompassed not only most of Old Castile, but all regions across the north of Spain, from Asturias to Navarre. Not surprisingly, its historical archive and library of Santa Cruz are home to an extraordinary collection of registers, manuscripts and early printed books, which is kept in an excellent state of conservation.

The University’s course of studies in English, inaugurated in 1963 following those newly opened in Salamanca, Madrid, Barcelona and Zaragoza, was the earliest among the modern language programmes to be taught in the Faculty of Arts. In 1971, the newly-founded Department of English published the first issue of ES, the pioneering periodical publication of English Studies in Spain. Today, the Department adheres to its original intent to enhance the quality of its students’ training, research groups, and main areas of interest: Anglo-Spanish cultural relations, translation and terminology, applied linguistics and literary studies.


The purpose of the Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature (SELIM) is to promote the growth, development and coordination of studies and research relating to Old and Middle English language and literature, as well as every other aspect of the cultural heritage of the British Middle Ages.

The Society celebrates an annual conference and publishes a research periodical ever since its creation in 1988.


We look forward to welcoming you to Valladolid!

The Organising Committee of SELIM 31.


Header image: Caxton's Canterbury Tales, ca. 1483, fol. ciiij rJohn Rylands Library Special Collections 8694Copyright of The University of Manchester.
The embroidered SELIM logo above has been created by Bulgarcita Pingos after the official SELIM logo.